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La Tamborrada

Listed under Traditional Festivals in San Sebastian, Spain.

  • Photo of La Tamborrada
  • Photo of La Tamborrada
Photo of La Tamborrada
Photo by flickr user Chaquetadepollo.
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On the evening of January 19th windows begin to rattle all in the name of a festival known as La Tamborrada. Once a year the patron saint of Spain’s San Sebastian probably reaches for his earplugs in polite compliance with the country’s decision to host a drum festival in his honour. From midnight to midnight the event is led by flamboyant uniformed marchers determined to make a noise reminiscent of a baker’s in 1720. The story goes that a baker was filling his water barrels near the Iglesia de San Vicente when he started to sing. A group of young girls heard the singing and decided to join in use the barrels as drums. Whether this festival is or is not a shameless attempt to gather female admirers is another question but one thing we can be sure about is that it’s definitely loud.

Written by  Sybilla Harvey.

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